Viral Stories on Medium That Never Stop Earning

Yes, they do exist

Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash
Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash
Like mine, most of your stories probably have a few good days when first published but then fizzle out quickly. It can feel like we’re forever on a hamster wheel chasing the next hit. But nothing seems to stick. But it turns out that some stories do stick. I’ve been taking a closer look at my top stories recently to see if I can find some common thread that will help me write similar stories. What I found is that the best ones keep earning over the long term.

Example 1

My best story (How much I earned from 8 Kindle books) was published on 4 November last year. It’s had 10.3K views so far. It’s 2 days short of its 6-month anniversary and has earned money every single day. The peak earnings are long gone, but it’s still grinding out the cash day in and day out. Here are the monthly earnings to date.
  • November $43.86
  • December $227.92
  • January $113.65
  • February $27.25
  • March $25.71
  • April $30.00
As you can see, the income has been pretty steady for the last 3 months after the peak passed. It now averages around $1 a day. 100 stories like that would bring in $3,000 a month.

Example 2

My 6th most popular story didn’t have much of a peak but has earned steadily since it was published over 6 months ago on 1 November.
  • November $7.24
  • December $68.04
  • January $43.66
  • February $20.17
  • March $20.39
  • April $14.61
It drifted a bit lower last month but it’s still dishing out the cash month after month. The story is about earning $550K by building an ecommerce store. This article had a few $0 days in the first week, but since then it’s earned every day. The surprising thing is that it’s had quite a few days with 0 seconds of reading time but still managed to earn money on those days.

Other Stories

As well as stories that go viral and keep earning, there are also hundreds of others that keep earning every month. In April 223 out of my 269 earned at least 1 cent. That means that over 80% of stories earned money. All those small amounts add up. Evergreen content does the best over the long term as they’re stories that readers will always want to read. Newsworthy or trending topic stories can make good money in the short time but tend to fizzle out completely afterward. My advice would be to write a mixture of both evergreen and newsworthy stories. Hopefully, you’ll get a few viral stories. The longtail earnings of evergreen stories combined with earnings from newsworthy stories could add up to a very nice monthly income.